A New Flavour of Giving: A Guide to Culturally and Religiously Appropriate Food Donations

11 Sep, 2023 | Human Rights Ambassador Programme, Right to Food

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by Roxana Isaacs, René Cassin Youth Ambassador 2023

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family”

(Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)

Food insecurity has impeded upon the health, stability, and general wellbeing of over 17% of households in the UK. Whilst food banks are seeking to alleviate this, many are struggling to reflect the diversity which exists within these groups, unable to provide a varied supply of foods that can cater to the distinctive preferences and requirements of these groups. Crucially, food can be a source of comfort and a channel through which identity can be preserved and celebrated. Food banks must therefore be facilitated in providing access to the other elements of food beyond sustenance through a conscious and active effort.

Within this resource, are “ingredient” lists which provide examples of food donations that would be culturally relevant for three religious groups: the Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu communities. Context is also supplied to explain the significance of food within these cultures. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the cultural groups that would benefit deeply from culturally appropriate donations. The hope here is that the core issue is understood and that donations are pushed in the right direction to reflect not only the necessity for nourishment but also a feeling of familiarity, cultural pride, and a vital sense of dignity.

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